What do I do? Here I am updating my LinkedIn profile, and back to being twelve.
I feel like my kid-self gushing to my kid sister: Look what I can do! See what I just did?
Her forehead wrinkles. Her eyes drain. She cocks her brow. Her chin turns up and her mouth turns down. She looks away. Then turns back with a disinterest and that tone. Her and LinkedIn, both.
What have you been doing for the last few years?
Yes. And? What’s so good about that? Oh yeah? So? So what? Yeah. But, what’s so good?
LinkedIn’s haughty smug questionnaires are a different kind of third degree. Why, only that? That doesn’t answer the question. From when to when, and what exactly?
How does that add up?
I’m painting myself into a corner. My instinct is to back away from these intimidating forms trying to get me to trim myself down into a formula.
What are your accomplishments?
Even if I had been working at a conventional job for the past few years, I still wouldn’t up-sale my heroic accomplishments like most guys would. I’d still be down-playing my worth and value like as many woman do.
Each thing I do
Gets done in me
What I make up
It marks me up
Each choice I make
Is colored paint
My palette is my day
Or just mixed up
I make me
Since I spent all my writing time on Disqus tonight I have no choice but to horrify you with my unsuspected wayward answer to that pirate question.
What home appliance has helped you most?
That’s when my answer surprised me.
Air conditioning, and refrigerator.
No, refrigerator and then air conditioning, that’s what I thought at first.
But then I remembered.
The rest of what appliances to you can hire someone else to do for you.
But you can’t hire someone to keep you cool or keep your food from rotting.
And a fireplace can keep you warm in winter and sorta cook your food.
Oh dang. That’s not the question though is it?
Don’t we, all of us take appliances for granted?
No, we all don’t.
I’ve roughed it for years with no appliances and I know just what it feels like.
I got stuck “pioneering” for about seven years on a ranch in the middle of the Sonora desert in Mexico when I was kinda young and child labour was a thing.
You get used to being hot as hell, all day and all night. You get used to cooking over a fire or on a makeshift stove. You get used to washing your own and everyone else’s dishes in a split oil barrel. Even cooking over another shape of the ubiquitous 50 gallon drum, wasn’t so bad.
Using your own hand or your parter, that’s an adventure a small hand held appliance doesn’t do justice to. I didn’t know about that then though. But scrubbing embedded mud off of piles of greasy jeans, that feel like leather in your hands.
You lean over the wash tub or a taller cement version, called a lavadero if you are super lucky, and move up and down rubbing the garment over across the washboard. You are all bent over, till your back burns and aches.
So, you just started on this fluffy queen size quilt that you need several people to help to wring out. You are just stretching your back into shape again, I used to imagine Plastic Man going back to his human shape, and letting the burning subside for a seconds. That little break is great, but that’s when the acrid smell of the weeks worth of soaking baby diapers reminds you of that feeling you are going to get when you put your hands into the slimy freezing water to grab a slimy diaper and wiggle that last bit of poop off it. That is when desperation overwhelmed you even before you snatch the slimy thing out and start wringing the nasty water out, before you even start rubbing it with the big pink bar of Zote, then scrub the hell out of it for as long as it takes.
Once you are scrubbing, its mind numbing endless repetition, diaper after diaper, but getting in there is the hardest part. I’d take them all out at once so I didn’t have to reach back into the pail. That was the part that still gives me the yucky-shivers.
That is a red-knuckled, chapped handed, broken blistered palms nightmare that goes on and on and you get all wet. It takes all day.
Your week is ruined just from thinking about it.
You never do learn the way the local woman scrub mud covered dirty stained rags into bright clean shirts, and emerge with softly calloused fine hands that don’t bleed.
When I got back from my expat adventure, I went back to school in Texas. To save money since I lived on a grim student budget, I opened windows and turned on a fan not the AC.
I didn’t even once consider washing clothes by hand, though. I would have skimped on our meager food first.
Instead, I collected scarce quarters for the laundromat, and washed three enormous one whites one coloreds one darks, every two ore three weeks, in the commercial washers, till I got an old used washer.
Okay, okay, I saved money again, for several more years after that and spared the environment, too by hanging laundry on a clothesline in summer months. I still do it. Sun brightens whites and bleaches out organic stains, plus there’s the fresh breezy smell garden smell, that lingers on the clothes and feels like home, not perfume. But no, I freaken never ever ever washed or scrubbed clothes by hand again.
I love washers!
I heard there is a new one that doesn’t ever break down. That you can buy when you get married and leave to your kids in your will, and it will do the same for them. I want that one!
I think it’s a new type of Speed Queen. Anyone know if this is true?
If it is, is there also a legendary refrigerator and AC system with that kind of reputation that anyone knows of?
The two next in line:
Real badass AC and refrigerator I can get that’s not just marketing hyped.
On a lighter cosmopolitan note, the bread machine and crock-pot are two of my three best little friends.